Dahl's walk-off blast lifts S. Arkansas
Muleriders earn inaugural Great American title in extra innings
ENID, Okla. -- Jason Dahl’s walk-off home run to deep right-center in the bottom of the 11th inning gave Southern Arkansas the inaugural Great American Conference championship with a 4-3 victory against Ouachita Baptist Monday at David Allen Memorial Ballpark.
It wasn’t easy as the Tigers (30-26) put up a fight and it took two games Monday for the Muleriders (36-15) to do it. OBU claimed a 4-3 win in the first game, but needed two wins to come through the loser’s bracket of the double-elimination tourney.
SAU trailed 3-1 after three innings, but scratched its way back, getting a solo run in the fifth and another in the ninth to send it to extra frames.
Dahl was the only Southern Arkansas player in multiple hits with three, just a triple shy of the cycle in knocking in the tying run in the ninth with a double. He drove in the Muleriders’ lone run in the second, and plated three of the team’s four runs, including the game-winner.
Justin Thomas (5-2) threw 5.2 innings in relief for the win, setting a school record with his 25th appearance of the season. He held Ouachita Baptist hitless while striking out six and walking two.
Brock Green, who led the Tigers with two hits and three RBIs, gave them a 1-0 lead in the first with an RBI single. Dahl’s RBI single evened it in the second for the Muleriders.
Green gave OBU the 3-1 lead with a two-run triple in the third inning. SAU cut it to 3-2 in the fifth on a run-scoring double off the video scoreboard from senior first baseman David Allday (Texarkana, Texas).
Dahl’s RBI double in the ninth then sent it to the extra frames before his walk-off blast.
Davis Ward (6-6) suffered the loss, throwing 5.1 innings in relief. He gave up two runs on four hits and a walk, while fanning one.
The win gave Southern Arkansas both the GAC regular season and tournament championships, and their second consecutive conference title and third in the past four years, having won the Gulf South titles in 2009 and 2011.